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How a Storm Comes to Mt.
Blanc How a Storm Comes to Mt. Blanc  by signorellil

On Thursday 24 August, 2006, 21 climbers of various nationalities decided, despite a clear meteorological warning, and apparently against the advice of some guide, to attempt the climb of Mt. Blanc via the Gouter route. As predicted, after an unsettled morning, a big storm passed over the area in early afternoon, reducing visibility to nothing even at comparatively low altitudes, with violent winds and snowfall down to 2600m.

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Gear
Suggestions and Tips for the West Butress Route of Denali Gear Suggestions and Tips for the West Butress Route of Denali  by seth@LOKI

I had a ton of gear related questions that I tried desperately to find answers on the web while preparing for the trip to climb Denali (aka Mount McKinley, AK 20,320 ft.) . I want to share my experience with gear on the mountain to help future inquisitors like myself. We had a great trip.

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Living on
the Edge: Extreme Sports and their Role in Society Living on the Edge: Extreme Sports and their Role in Society  by MountaingirlBC

With regard to extreme sports, the perception of the general public is that people who choose to take risks are irresponsible ‘adrenaline junkies’ who are ultimately a burden to society. When a person takes unnecessary risks, and becomes injured or in need of rescue, the expenses for coming to their aid are often borne by taxpayers. It should not be surprising then, that these same taxpayers question why they should have to pay for these seemingly foolish actions. A backcountry rescue after skiers trigger an avalanche, for example, will cost thousands of dollars.

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Colorado
Tall Tales (Just for Fun) Colorado Tall Tales (Just for Fun)  by Scott

Colorado, and the USA in general, are notorious for claiming false "world records". Just for fun, here are some of them.

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Using Polarisation Filters Using Polarisation Filters  by Gangolf Haub

About two years ago I stumbled into a discussion about photography on one of the SP message boards where several people recommended using polarisation filters in order to enhance the quality of the resulting image. In 2003 I started using polarizers myself and since then I rarely venture out without one. During that time I was able to shoot a number of photos which without polarizer would have been utterly unimpressive while I also did a lot of mistakes since I had to find out about the use of the filters on my own.

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A Change in the Map A Change in the Map  by mauri pelto

We have all experienced moments when we thought the map was incorrect in some aspect. Today climbing in glaciated alpine ranges, often a map is incorrect necessitated by the retreat of a glacier. I remember my first experience climbing through the fog of a mountain whiteout to aptly named Pea Soup Gap on Mount Daniels. Peering through this gap we expected to find a glacier filling a basin, not the beautiful but uncrossable jade colored lake, pictured above right. Today ascending in a glaciated range you may encounter a new alpine lake formed where your map shows ice. An easy route up a glacier may be replaced by impossibly steep, smoothed slabs. A gentle glacier slope in the valley bottom, may now feature a steep canyon with a difficult to surmount waterfall. The classic guidebook route description no longer is accurate. Changes in these areas are outpacing our slow paper remapping process. Below are a few examples of changes not reflected on maps of the North Cascades and a sample from other regions. I hope you will help me expand the latter sections with further examples.

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Determining Mountain Clouds,
Winds and Temps Determining Mountain Clouds, Winds and Temps  by wtfo

There was a thread in the forums recently asking if there was a way to determine the elevation of cloud layers in the mountains(current and/or forecast). Generally speaking, yes, there is. In fact, you can determine more than just cloud information. You can find wind and temperature information also. Hopefully this article will give you some basic techniques to head for the mountains perhaps a little more prepared for the weather that awaits you. However, I caution you that Mother Nature is unpredictable, weather forecast models are not 100% accurate, and mountains do indeed form their own micro-environments at times. So use this information to plan, but as always, be prepared for the worst.

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Panoramas?
Here is how to do it! Panoramas? Here is how to do it!  by Lukas Kunze

Why creating panoramas? I think they show scenery much better than single shots. Additionally panoramas can be used to create very high resolution images from every object with normal resolution cameras.

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Hiking and Climbing with
Children Hiking and Climbing with Children  by Scott

Perhaps you have heard such a phrase as “your climbing life is over when you have children”. Rest assured that is not the case. Most children love the outdoors and many are intrigued by exploration and challenging physical activity. This article will discuss several issues and have several tips pertaining to hiking and climbing with children. All are from my own personal experience and since every child and parent is different, your experience may be far different. Hiking and climbing with children can be a wonderful and exciting experience. It can also be frustrating at times, but is highly recommended.

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Human Factors in Avalanche
Incidents Human Factors in Avalanche Incidents  by Steve Larson

On March 1, 2003 eight experienced backcountry skiers set out to ride Microdot Peak in Alaska's Chugach range [4]. With four feet of new snow and bluebird skies, conditions were ripe for some awesome turns. They were also ripe for big slides. Three days before, the avalanche forecast for the area was “Considerable to High”, meaning that avalanches, both natural and human-triggered, were likely. A pit dug by the group near the base of the run revealed an instability, yet the group proceeded. After 4 skiers successfully descended the slope the fifth skier triggered a large slab avalanche and was carried 700 feet. Two skiers watching from the bottom were knocked down by the powder blast. Fortunately, the skier caught in the slide survived, and the two knocked down were unhurt. It could have turned out different.

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